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Author's profile photo Manoel Costa

Triggering POD Plugins from Production Processes using Process Overview plugin within SAP Digital Manufacturing

Introduction

SAP Digital Manufacturing can support workers’ activities in Production Operator Dashboards (PODs) by automatically presenting the right steps at the right time and in the correct sequence after specific trigger conditions are met. This improves manufacturing operations and processes, enhancing workers’ efficiency while ensuring that standard procedures are followed.

This can be accomplished using Production Processes and Process Overview plugin, where you can define a sequence of POD Plugins to be displayed and executed in POD by workers after specific trigger conditions have been met.

In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive demo of these capabilities and see in detail how to set up and execute a straightforward example within the system. This scenario involves a Shop Floor Equipment triggering a breakdown signal from the automation layer but not being able to provide the Breakdown Reason Code. Therefore, we require worker input to inform the Breakdown Reason Code in the POD. As soon as the breakdown is triggered by the Shop Floor Equipment, the Change Equipment Status plugin can be shown to the worker in the POD, allowing them to enter the necessary Breakdown Reason Code details

Demo

Production Process Setup

First, in Design Production Processes app, create a new Production Process and a new Cloud Process.

* Check Visible to Production Connector / Plant Connectivity Runtime so you can call this from an Automatic Trigger of Subscription type if needed.

Drag and Drop a “Start” Control, and create a POD Connection to your Plant, Resource and Work Center.

For this straightforward exercise, add the ‘Change Equipment Status’ plugin to your Cloud Process. You can find it in the ‘Services and Processes’ section on the left, under the ‘DMC_Cloud > POD Plugins’ path, where you will find a list of all available POD Plugins that can be triggered.

Next, configure the ‘Change Equipment Status’ plugin according to your needs in the ‘POD Actions’ panel on the right-hand side. For this example, I have set the ‘POD Action’ for this plugin as ‘Launch and Wait’.

* Keep in mind this is a very simple and straightforward example, but this concept can be applied to more complex scenarios, as shown below and also in the demo video on this blog post.

Example

Example

Your Production Process is ready, so just save and deploy it.

POD Setup

Create or edit an existing POD, add a Plugin Container Control and add Process Overview plugin inside it.

For this exercise using a Work Center POD, I positioned the Plugin Container at the bottom of the page, just below the existing Responsive Splitter control. I adjusted its height to 200px in the Configuration panel on the right-hand side to ensure it appears correctly on the screen.

Finally, click on ‘Configure Notifications’ in the top-right corner and enable Production Processes notifications as follows:

Your POD is ready, so just save and publish it.

Test

With all the necessary setup now in place, you can proceed and give it a try.

To do so, open your newly created POD, select any SFC, and access the Activities Page. You should find the Process Overview plugin located at the bottom of the page.

Please note that the Process Overview plugin will display the message “Process Not Initiated” as the POD is currently waiting for a production process to be initiated.

At this stage, you can initiate the newly created Production Process. This can be done manually, directly from the ‘Design Production Process’ app for testing purposes, or through other methods, such as an automatic trigger of the subscription type, for example.

Once the Production Process is triggered, the status of the Process Overview plugin should change from “Process not initiated” to displaying the first plugin defined in your Production Process sequence. The plugin itself should then pop up and load.

In this exercise, the ‘Change Equipment Status’ plugin should become visible.

To ensure that each plugin in the Production Process sequence is displayed, it must be added to the POD Layout.

Plugins added to the POD Layout, such as those within an Icon Tab Bar, will be loaded from there.

On the other hand, plugins assigned as Actions to Action Buttons will be shown in a popup, as shown in the example above.

Please note that in the Production Process, we have configured the ‘Change Equipment Status’ plugin’s POD Action as “Launch and Wait”.

When a plugin is defined as “Launch and Wait,” the Continue button becomes enabled, as is the case here. After the worker has provided all the necessary input in the plugin, they can click the “Continue” button to advance the production process to the next step.

If a plugin is defined as “Launch and Continue,” the Continue button is disabled, and the Process Overview plugin will automatically proceed to the next step in the flow.

Continuing, please fill in the Change Equipment Status plugin details to modify the Resource Status, including specifying a Reason Code, and then click ‘Change’.

After completing the plugin’s action, close it and click the ‘Continue’ button in the Process Overview plugin to progress to the next step. Since this is the only and final step in our simple Production Process, the Process Overview plugin will display the message “Process ended”, indicating that the flow has concluded.

Restrictions

Some restrictions that apply to Process Overview plugin are:

  • Only one Production Process can run on a POD at one time.

  • Only a single POD should be subscribed to a Production Process that contains a Launch and Wait.

Demo

Conclusion

In conclusion, SAP Digital Manufacturing offers a powerful solution to support manufacturing operations and enhance worker efficiency in PODs by automating the presentation of task sequences based on specific trigger conditions, SAP’s Production Processes and Process Overview plugin enable a seamless integration of workers into critical processes.

While this blog post focused on simplicity, it’s important to note that this concept can be adapted to more complex scenarios.

 

Do you like this post? Please let me know in the comments section what you think. Any feedback is highly appreciated.

Or, if you have any questions, please check SAP Community Q&A Area, or comment down below.

Thanks,

Manoel Costa

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